PALMETTO (FOX 13) - It was a terrifying ordeal for one woman in Manatee County. Police say she was beaten and kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend and then driven toward the Sunshine Skyway Bridge where he threatened to kill both of them.
Had it not been for a state trooper at the right place at the right time, this violent situation could've ended in tragedy.
"Fortunately, circumstances came around where fate intervened," said Palmetto police chief Scott Tyler.
The 29-year-old victim was driving down 9th Street West around 8:15 Wednesday morning when a red Dodge Charger cut her off. Palmetto police say it was driven by 34-year-old Alfred Facundo.
"One of her ex-boyfriends, who she's been having some issues with, pulled up in his vehicle, kind of blocking her vehicle, pounded on the window of her vehicle, got her out and actually assaulted her," Tyler said.
FOX 13 spoke to the man who called 911 to translate for a witness. The witness said they'd seen a man beating on a woman as she clung to her steering wheel. They said a man forced her into his car and drove off.
"Evidently, he was telling her that he wanted to end her life and his, so he drove to the Skyway and actually drove up onto the span and stopped," Tyler said. "One of the troopers that regularly patrols the Skyway saw this and pulled in behind them to find out if they need any help."
According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, the trooper saw Facundo "reaching into the back seat beating on a female."
The report says, "The female was able to escape out of the back passenger door and ran around the back of my patrol vehicle yelling for help and jumped into my patrol vehicle."
According to the report, Facundo refused to comply with verbal commands and drove off. The woman told the trooper that Facundo "stated that after killing her he was going to drive them off the Skyway Bridge."
She told the trooper she was also worried that Facundo was headed to her current boyfriend's place of employment to kill him.
The Manatee County Sheriff's Office made contact with him to ensure his safety.
Facundo's car was later located in Bradenton but there's been no sign of him.
"He inferred that he had a gun," Tyler said. "He was prepared to shoot people, so certainly, we consider this man armed and dangerous based on what he's done today."
At the south Skyway rest area, employees are keeping their eyes wide open in case he comes back.
"I just kept it in my pocket just in case I see him," said Tonua Carr as she held up a printed photo of Facundo's mug shot.
"I hope they get him," she said. "And, it’s crazy. If she don’t want to be with you, go on about your business. Simple as that. Don’t try to kill her. Thank God she’s alright."